Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can be considered a severe form
of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Both PMS and PMDD are characterized by
unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms that occur in the second half of
a woman's menstrual cycle,
most commonly in the days preceding the menstrual period. Physical symptoms such
as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint pain; food cravings, mood
swings or frequent crying, panic attacks,
fatigue, mood changes, irritability, and trouble focusing are among the most
common symptoms, yet other symptoms like anxiety and trouble sleeping have been reported. PMS
symptoms may be troubling and unpleasant. PMDD may cause severe, debilitating symptoms that interfere with a woman's ability to function.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates that at
least 85 recent of menstruating women have at least one PMS symptom as part of
their monthly cycle. PMS is much more common than PMDD. You must have 5 or more
of the symptoms listed above to be diagnosed with PMDD.
Biologic, psychological, environmental, and social factors all seem to play a
part in PMDD. It is important to note that PMDD is not the fault of the woman
suffering from it or the result of a "weak" or unstable personality. It is also
not something that is "all in the woman' head." Rather, PMDD is a medical
illness that impacts only 3% to 8% of women. Fortunately, it can be treated by a
health care professional with behavioral and pharmaceutical options.
PMDD has been previously medically referred to as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder.
Medical Author: Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D., FACP
Medical Editors: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Ms. B.T. is 38 years old. Her co-workers always
seem to know when she has her period. During this time, she becomes extremely
irritable. She feels guilty because she gets very angry at her children for no
logical reason or for apparently trivial reasons. In fact, one of her coworkers,
with whom she is quite friendly, suggested she come in before her supervisor
noticed problems on the job. She heard that there is a severe version of PMS
that requires special treatment. Ms. B.T. wants to know if this is her problem.
Premenstrual syndrome(PMS) has been the term
used for mood, and sometimes physical, symptoms that occur cyclically
(predictably in relation to menses) in the second half of the menstrual cycle and interfere with a woman's
quality of life. Some women experience even more severe symptoms. These women may have
a conditions known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).